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Graduate Union kicks off new year

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The first Graduate Student Union meeting of the 2003-04 school year opened with the unanimous approval of a new budget and a proposal for an economized council system that would decrease the number of standing committees while increasing their allotted stipends.

The tentative budget is set at $113, 653 with a projected $26,000 surplus rolled over from last year. However, because the budget calculations are based in part on the $55 fee paid by graduate students, and the number of actual students is said to be considerably higher than was estimated, council members anticipate higher numbers when statistics become available in November.

The budget includes modifications on the stipends for the chairs of each of the GSU’s standing committees. These changes stem from the proposal to reduce the number of committees from 12 to eight, freeing up more money to be given to the remaining groups.

“It is very difficult to find people every year willing to be duped into working for the GSU,” said Academic Affairs Committee chairman Tim Dale, adding that the condensed committees would mean more shared work, less recruiting issues and more money for the members to work with.

“I think the plan sounds entirely sensible, and students are being paid fairly for the time they put in,” said Holly Vanderwall, a history and philosophy of science graduate student.

Both the budget and the reduction of committees were approved unanimously, though a second budgetary proposal may be necessary when fund statistics are solidified in late fall. Since the committee plan involves amending the GSU constitution, there must be two consecutive majority votes at two consecutive meetings for it to pass.

In other GSU news:

The motion proposed by Electronic Resources Administrator Yanto Go to purchase an upgraded, $700 server to replace the current one was unanimously passed. Go said that reasons for the change were that the existing server is too slow to accommodate graduate student needs, and still runs the old, outdated operating system.

The GSU will be running a concession stand at the Nov. 8 football game against Navy, and volunteers with training are needed.

The council unanimously approved the motion to sponsor Alexandra Imre and her free EuroGym aerobics course, as she has currently been denied club status by RecSports and can no longer reserve a room for the class.

Misty Schieberle’s request for help in funding the Kaneb Center’s program to send graduate students to the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching was unanimously passed.